Thursday, February 02, 2006


China Isn't The Only Emerging Print Market

China's not the only emerging market; emerging Europe is still a place of signif- icant growth. The data in the chart are from 1998 to 2003. In that time, printing employment in the Czech Republic grew 5%, Spain's grew 12%, and Hungary's grew 84%. This was all at a time when the developed economies of Europe's printing employment were either stagnant or declining.

Economic freedom is not turned on like a spigot; it takes time for economies to grow and to benefit from new capital investment. The Eastern European economies have shown steady progress, with some impressive growth rates, while still behind the other mainland economies in terms of incomes and per capita GDP. In practical terms, Spain and Portugal can be considered emerging economies as well.

Growth can be found in many places. Ireland's rise as a notable economy has caused its printing shipments to double in the same time period. Trade agreements account for a great deal of this growth, but modern communications technologies further erode the natural barriers to trade and widen opportunities for buyers and sellers to meet. Constantly improving logistics play a major role as well.

It's essential to realize that just because print may not be growing in North America does not mean it is not growing elsewhere. Business people go where the opportunities lead them. The realization that there is now an interconnected world print economy rather than a collection of discrete print economies is hard for many to get used to... but it's critical that global thinking become second nature to all managers.

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